Things have been a little soggy here at Carolina of late. A squall line of storms passed over the course late last Friday (September 28th) evening dropping 0.75" rain. We then had rain off and on Saturday and received more rain Monday and even had a short downpour this past Tuesday. During this time the conditions were mostly cloudy and humid with little wind and thus the course became surprisingly wetter than expected. Yesterday was the first day we were able to permit golf car traffic on certain fairways and it was also the first day we were able to mow short cut turf. Thankfully, the sun made its way out yesterday afternoon and with the 10 day forecast looking cool but pleasant ideal golfing conditions are not too far away! On the bright side, the rain was very beneficial to the putting surfaces in assisting with aeration recovery. The putting surfaces are growing rapidly at this time evidenced by the amount of clippings in the mower buckets each morning. We are approximately 80-90% healed after only 10 days and it will be just a couple more till we achieve complete healing then you will begin to see an increase in ball roll and putting speed.
Some of you have been wondering about the collars since the greens were aerated and asking questions. The discoloration you see is the byproduct of the collar region being aerated. I decided to aerate the collar, despite the late date on the calendar for bermudagrass because the compaction in that region threatened the overall health and winter survivability of the turf. You should have seen the aerator jumping when we made the pass around the collars (an indicator of soil compaction severity) compared to the sand based putting surfaces. Anyway, I am confident the collars will heal completely over the next several weeks (it will take a little longer for bermudagrass turf to grow and fill in this time of year). We will begin topdressing treatments to the collars next week with green sand. This will help both mask the discoloration but also draw a little extra heat from the sun. We are making other modifications to our agronomic programs this fall and winter in an effort to minimize and eliminate problems with turf health in the collar region next spring. I will blog more about those efforts at a later date.
This past Tuesday, October 2nd I treated the Greens Committee to a visit from a very special guest...Mr. John Szklinski, Golf Course Superintendent, Charlotte Country Club. I invited John to spend the better part of the day with me before meeting with the committee in the early afternoon. You may recall it was about this time last year when we (Carolina Golf Club) made the decision to abandon fine fescue alone in our natural/native grass areas and switched to a seed mixture containing fine fescues and other warm season native grasses (bluestem, blue grama and side oats grama). John has been establishing and maintaining Charlotte Country Club's natural/native areas from this seed mixture since 2007 so I thought it would be beneficial to have him evaluate our progress, make suggestions and answer any questions or concerns shared by the committee. John had never seen Carolina and was immediately impressed with the "views and vistas" present on the property as we toured the course together upon his arrival. We later gathered in my office to compare and contrast our respective staff sizes, budgets and resource allocations. After a brief lunch off site we returned and met with the Greens Committee.
|John Szklinski speaking with Greens Committee|
|The Committee looks on as John talks about Native Grasses|
Despite the rain, Golf Course Services, Inc. continue to work on the drainage project. Although they were unable to work this past Monday because of the rain, on Tuesday they managed to start and complete a small improvement on the right side of number 5 (in the bottom of the landing area in the rough). Due to my time spent with Mr. Szklinski and the Greens Committee that day I do not have pictures for you. Since then they have been tackling number 7 again and the progress is a little slower when the area is saturated.
|It's a soggy job!|
|JD Downey surveys the situation.|
See you on the course,
Golf Course Superintendent